18:28 GMT04 December 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Tehran is ready to decisively respond to any external threat using advanced defence capabilities, state news agency IRNA reported on Thursday, citing Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami.

    Hatami stated that Tehran possessed necessary power and determination to respond to possible aggressors at all levels, according to the outlet.

    The defence minister also praised the late Qasem Soleimani, who commanded the Quds special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) until he was killed in a US strike earlier in January, for bringing national integrity to Iran.

    Soleimani was killed near the Baghdad airport in the early hours of January 3. His death exacerbated the crisis between the United States and Iran and triggered widespread fears of an open conflict between the two. Iran responded with limited strikes on US bases with prior warning, which resulted in no deaths or injuries, after which both sides headed for de-escalation.

    However, 176 people died in a Ukrainian passenger plane crash near Tehran that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took responsibility for — they accidentally shot it down while on high alert after the attack.

    Amir Hatami, defence, advanced weapons, threat, Iran
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